Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-08-27

Educators from universities in the Czech Republic and Sweden are at Samford University through Sept. 1 to explore an academic partnership that will help give students an international perspective on disability.

Project ABLe (Authentic-Based Learning) will focus on special education at a global level during a one-semester on-line course utilizing Problem-Based Learning techniques.

When Project ABLe is implemented next spring, participating students at Samford, The Technical University of Liberec in Czech Republic and Vaxjo University in Sweden will each have a partner in the other countries.

Each student will be assigned a problem situation for which they must creation a solution within the context of their own culture, and seek solutions from their study partners.

For example, a case study of a child with Down syndrome and a vision problem may reveal that definitions and services for such children can vary from country to country.

Samford team leaders are Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies professors Dr. David Finn and Dr. Clara Gerhardt.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.